During printing, it is important that the first layer sticks well to the build plate. Leveling the build plate ensures that you have the correct distance between the build plate and the nozzle during printing, for optimal adhesion. The Ultimaker 2+ Connect utilizes a three-point bed level procedure. This must be done before using the Ultimaker 2+ Connect for the first time and then periodically.
When to level the build plate
It is recommended to level the build plate when setting up the Ultimaker 2+ Connect, after maintenance and modifications (such as reinstalling the build plate or replacing the nozzle), or when you experience adhesion issues.
If the nozzle is too far from the build plate, the material will not stick properly to the glass. If the nozzle is too close, the material will not be able to extrude properly, which can lead to feeding and/or adhesion problems. See the section Successful first layer below for examples.
Select the Maintenance menu on the touchscreen display and navigate to Level build plate. Follow the instructions on the screen. You will need the calibration card for this process.
Tip: Before you start, make sure that the glass build plate and the tip of the nozzle are clean. Any material residue stuck on these components may lead to leveling inaccuracies. If you have an Ultimaker 2+ Connect Air Manager, remove the front enclosure until this procedure is finished.
- Wait for the Ultimaker 2+ Connect to move the print head and build plate to the start position.
- Place the calibration card between the nozzle and build plate. Adjust the thumb wheel under the build plate at the back until you feel some resistance when moving the card. Select Done adjusting to continue.
Caution: The print head will move to the next position. Keep hands clear of the build volume until the print head and build plate have stopped moving. Do not apply force to the build plate while placing the calibration card, as this will lead to leveling inaccuracies.
- Place the calibration card under the nozzle again and adjust the front-right thumb wheel until you feel some resistance on the card. Select Done adjusting to continue.
- Repeat this for the front-left thumb wheel.
- As a final step, the printhead will return to the first point. Fine-tune the leveling, and check if you still feel the same resistance on the calibration card at the back of the build plate, or adjust the thumb wheel until you do.
The build plate is now leveled correctly for an optimal adhesion of the first layer.
Successful first layer
When 3D printing, it is very important that the first layer is nicely pressed onto the glass plate with flat lines of filament and no gaps in between. Check the following images to see a successful first layer and two unsuccessful ones.
Successful first layer
The print properly sticks to the glass plate and all lines are nicely uniform.
The adhesion and extrusion are good, so there is a high chance of print success!
The build plate is too close to the nozzle. The material cannot extrude from the nozzle properly. The first layer is very thin.
Relevel the build plate with a bit more distance between the nozzle and the build plate.
The build plate is too far from the nozzle. The lines are not pressed into the glass build plate. There is a high chance that the print comes loose from the plate during printing.
Relevel the build plate with less distance between the nozzle and the build plate.